San Francisco’s progressive district attorney, elected on a platform of reducing incarceration, faces a recall election driven by a pandemic in which brutal attacks against Asian seniors and viral footage of smash-and-grab robberies tested residents’ famously liberal political bent.
Recall proponents say Boudin is inexperienced and ideologically inflexible, often seeking to avoid charging criminals and siding with offenders over victims. His prosecutors are not permitted to seek cash bail, try juveniles as adults or seek longer sentences for perpetrators with gang affiliations.
The June 7 recall has pitted Democrat against Democrat in this city of not quite 900,000 people where reports of burglary and motor theft are up from 2017, but overall reported crime is down. Recall proponents have raised more than $7 million — double what his supporters have collected — with funding from the real estate industry and a conservative billionaire.
Boudin’s supporters say his platform is in line with voters who approved measures to reduce sentences. They say conservative interests have exploited high-profile tragedies to make everything Boudin’s fault when crime rates are much higher in districts with traditional law-and-order prosecutors.